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Falcons May Be Without Beasley, Reed To Start Otas


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FLOWERY BRANCH —

The Falcons, intent on rebuilding the league’s worst defense this offseason, may be without two of their major acquisitions when they open their organized team activities – non-contact practices — on Tuesday.

Outside linebacker Vic Beasley, the eighth overall pick in the NFL draft, has yet to sign with the team. Outside linebacker Brooks Reed, who received the largest free agent contract from the team, has a minor groin strain that could slow him

down.

Beasley and the Falcons have hit an impasse. The team was hopeful that he’d be signed shortly after the rookie minicamp earlier in May. All six of the other draft picks have signed their contracts.

“There is no reason why they shouldn’t be done,” said Joel Corry, CBS Sports’ NFL business analyst. “There is nothing to negotiate, particularly at the high end.”

Beasley’s situation is complicated by the season-ending knee injury that Jacksonville’s first-round pick Dante Fowler suffered during the Jaguars rookie minicamp.

“I don’t know why it wouldn’t be done,” said Corry, a former agent and Emory graduate. “The litmus test is going to be if Jacksonville tries to use Fowler’s injury to their advantage. Then, I don’t think you’ll ever see another first-round pick come into minicamp unsigned if that happens.”

In addition to Beasley and Reed, here are five things to watch at the outset of OTAs:

1. Running back rotation: The Falcons have revamped the running back position after releasing Steven Jackson and not re-signing Jacquizz Rodgers. They drafted Devonta Freeman in the fourth round in 2014 and picked up Tevin Coleman in the third round of the 2015 draft.

The will battle for the No. 1 spot.

Antone Smith, who’s coming back from a broken leg, hopes to be in the mix by the start of training camp in late July.

“The recovery is going pretty good,” Smith said. “I’m up and running. I’m almost full force, but not quite where I need to be. In time, that will take care of itself.”

2. Southward to cornerback: Dezmen Southward, 6-2, 210, was drafted as a free safety and wore number 41 last season. He was switched to cornerback by Quinn and changed his number to 22.

When Quinn approached Southward about moving to cornerback, he had a certain mindset.

“I’ve tried to do everything that he’s asked me to do at full speed and learn as quickly as I can,” Southward said.

3. Left guard competition: Over the offseason, the Falcons didn’t make a major move to replace left guard Justin Blalock, who was released after starting 125 games from 2007 to 2014.

The Falcons did sign Mike Person, a former seventh-round pick of the San Francisco 49ers, who has played in 17 games, but has no NFL starts. When the team lined up during minicamp, Person was at left guard.

But with Joe Hawley (knee), Sam Baker (knee) and Peter Konz (knee) all coming back from surgeries, new offensive line coach Chris Morgan will eventually have some options.

“We’re figuring it out as we go,” said Jon Asamoah, who started 15 games at right guard last season. “It’s kind of with (coach Dan) Quinn and all of the new guys, everything is about competition. Everything is up for grabs and whoever wins whatever spot, wins it.”

4. Baker ready for position change. Quinn told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Jake Matthews is the team’s left tackle.

Sam Baker started 61 of 70 games at left tackle from 2008 to 2013. He went on injured reserve after four games in 2013 and then suffered a season-ending injury in the exhibition season in 2014.

Left guard or right tackle are spots where Baker could prevail in the free-for-all competition that Quinn has promised.

Baker played some guard in 2011, but that experiment didn’t last long after he gave up a safety against Carolina while battling an elbow injury that required surgery. Baker’s career has been hindered by injuries which include three back surgeries, two elbow surgeries and two knee surgeries.

5. Free safety battle: With Southward moved over to cornerback, Quinn said that veteran Charles Godfrey, third-year man Kemal Ishmael and second-year man Ricardo Allen will all battle for the spot.

Ishmael, a former seventh-round pick, made a major leap from his rookie season to his second season. He’s hoping to take more strides in 2015.

“Just have a chance and ability to get out there and compete with everybody else,” Ishmael said about going after the starting spot. “Most guys don’t get an opportunity like this. I just want to make the most of it like I did last year.”

Edited by FentayeJones
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They are trying to wait as long as possible to see what Fowler's contact numbers are going to look like even though they already have their number they just don't want to low ball him in case jags lowball Fowler

Edited by GATXBOI
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The Beasley angle seems like crap IMO. He already participated in rookie mini-camp, and while they try to bring up Fowler's injury as a reason why, the Jags were required to negotiate in good faith with Fowler and they did.

Seems like baseless speculation to me that Beasley won't be there.

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They are trying to wait as long as possible to see what Fowler's contact numbers are going to look like even though they already have their number they just don't want to low ball him in case jags lowball Fowler

Already done...fully guaranteed. Article is wrong.

Edited by PK Manley
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The Beasley angle seems like crap IMO. He already participated in rookie mini-camp, and while they try to bring up Fowler's injury as a reason why, the Jags were required to negotiate in good faith with Fowler and they did.

Seems like baseless speculation to me that Beasley won't be there.

it is... just needs to write a story

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NFL Draft 2015: How much each first-round pick will be paid

NFL Draft Football

Missouri defensive end Shane Ray poses with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by the Denver Broncos with the 23rd pick in the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday, April 30, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo)

Mark Inabinett | minabinett@al.com By Mark Inabinett | minabinett@al.com

Email the author | Follow on Twitter

on May 01, 2015 at 7:29 AM, updated May 01, 2015 at 7:39 AM

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Being selected with the first pick in the 2015 NFL Draft on Thursday night should be worth at least $22,355,498 over the next four years for former Hueytown High School standout Jameis Winston.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicked off this year's player selections by tabbing the Florida State quarterback, and that obligated them to a four-year contract with Winston that will include a signing bonus estimated at $14,518,544.

RELATED: TAMPA BAY SELECTS JAMEIS WINSTON WITH NO. 1 PICK

The last time the NFL took a former Alabama prep star with the No. 1 pick in 2007, former Williamson High School star JaMarcus Russell missed all of training camp and the first game of his rookie season because of contract negotiations. Russell landed a six-year, $61 million contract that included $32 million in guaranteed money, but he lasted only three seasons in the NFL, and his delayed start might have contributed to his shortened career.

That kind of situation doesn't happen today. Under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NFL and its players association, each first-round pick receives a four-year contract with a team option for a fifth season. The salaries for each slot in the draft are pre-set. The values are based on the NFL's salary cap for the coming season and the rookie compensation pool in a formula spelled out in the CBA.

The figures here are projected by overthecap.com, a sports financial web site. Other sources project slightly different contract estimates for the rookie contracts. For example, while Jason Belzer of Forbes has Winston's signing bonus the same as overthecap.com's projection, he has estimated the contract value as $22,395,498 a difference of $50,000.

When the Oakland Raiders took Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper with the fourth pick in the first round, it put him in line for a $20,018,104 contract, including a $12,818,620 signing bonus.

RELATED: AMARI COOPER DRAFTED BY OAKLAND RAIDERS WITH FOURTH PICK

Missouri defensive end Shane Ray was expected to be a top 10-selection until he was cited for marijuana possession during a traffic stop on Monday. He went at No. 23 to the Denver Broncos. The difference between the contracts for the No. 10 and No. 23 slots is a projected $4,090,452. Much of that difference is in the signing bonus, which drops $2,974,872 between the slots.

Here are overthecap.com's contract values for each first-rounder:

1. Florida State QB Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: $22,355,498.

2. Oregon QB Marcus Mariotta, Tennessee Titans: $21,366,598.

3. Florida DE/OLB Dante Fowler, Jacksonville Jaguars: $20,732,302.

4. Alabama WR Amari Cooper, Oakland Raiders: $20,018,104.

5. Iowa OT Brandon Scherff, Washington Redskins: $18,759,502.

6. Southern Cal DE Leonard Williams, New York Jets: $16,512,004.

7. West Virginia WR Kevin White, Chicago Bears: $14,714,000.

8. Clemson OLB Vic Beasley, Atlanta Falcons: $12,916,002.

9. Miami (Fla.) OT Ereck Flowers, New York Giants: $12,826,102.

10. Georgia RB Todd Gurley, St. Louis Rams: $12,331,652.

11. Michigan State CB Trae Waynes, Minnesota Vikings: $11,567,504.

12. Washington DT Danny Shelton, Cleveland Browns: $10,488,698.

13. Stanford OT Andrus Peat, New Orleans Saints: $10,219,000.

14. Louisville WR DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins: $9,769,500.

15. Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon, San Diego Chargers: $9,589,704.

16. Wake Forest CB Kevin Johnson, Houston Texans: $9,050,298.

17. Oregon DE Arik Armstead, San Francisco 49ers: $8,870,502.

18. Washington CB Marcus Peters, Kansas City Chiefs: $8,645,754.

19. Florida State G/C Cameron Erving, Cleveland Browns: $8,645,754.

20. Southern Cal WR Nelson Agholor, Philadelphia Eagles: $8,465,952.

21. Texas A&M OT Cedric Ogbuehi, Cincinnati Bengals: $8,421,002.

22. Kentucky OLB Bud Dupree, Pittsburgh Steelers: $8,331,096.

23. Missouri DE Shane Ray, Denver Broncos: $8,241,200.

24. Florida OT D.J. Humphries, Arizona Cardinals: $8,061,398.

25. Washington LB Shaq Thompson, Carolina Panthers: $7,971,502.

26. UCF WR Breshad Perriman, Baltimore Ravens: $7,881,602.

27. Connecticut CB Byron Jones, Dallas Cowboys: $7,791,700.

28. Duke G Laken Tomlinson, Detroit Lions: $7,746,750.

29. Miami (Fla.) WR Phillip Dorsett, Indianapolis Colts: $7,386,052.

30. Arizona State S Damrious Randall, Green Bay Packers: $7,195,030.

31. Clemson ILB Stephone Anthony, New Orleans Saints: $7,035,028.

32. Texas DT Malcolm Brown, New England Patriots: $6,932,002.

READ OVERTHECAP.COM'S COMPLETE CONTRACT DETAILS FOR EACH FIRST-ROUND SELECTION

http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2015/05/nfl_draft_2015_how_much_each_f.html

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White's deal is worth a fully guaranteed $16.56 million over four years with a $10.3 million signing bonus. Those numbers are the max for where the former West Virginia receiver was drafted.

Trae Waynes signed a 4 year contract with the Vikings on May 8 2015 worth $12,944,364. Waynes received a $7,674,084 signing bonus and his contract is fully guaranteed.

Here's the crux of the problem:

Picks 8-10 haven't signed yet. There's a gap of over slightly $3.5 million between pick 7 and what #11 got. Signing bonus is almost $3 million. Both of these contracts are more than the projected slot values.

That's probably what the hold up is...

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I liked this quote.

Were figuring it out as we go, said Jon Asamoah, who started 15 games at right guard last season. Its kind of with (coach Dan) Quinn and all of the new guys, everything is about competition. Everything is up for grabs and whoever wins whatever spot, wins it.

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